To be honest, I’m a bit worried to attend the Republican National Convention.
In the last few weeks, I’ve grieved with many others in the over the highly publicized deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling. When I saw the footage posted by Castile’s former girlfriend I could not help but cry with her in her vulnerable moments. I could not help but feel profound sadness as she spent the moments following her boyfriend’s murder trying to assuage a police officer, trying to console her daughter who was in the car the entire time, all while processing her own grief. Throughout this sadness my only goal was not to resolve to fear of the police, I did not want to submit and give them as much power as I know they have. In the days that followed, several officers were shot and killed, as recently as today, July 17, 2016. And now, as we drive through Ohio and approach the Republican National Convention, I cannot help but ponder about some of the rhetoric and the sentiments of many of the attendees/delegates, rhetoric and sentiments that could add more pain to an already painful situation.
For me, the differences between the Democratic Party and the Republican party aren’t simply about politics and what is most feasible, most of the reasons I align myself with the Democratic Party are personal. Their platform is not perfect, and the party’s leaders are not faultless, but there is a support of human rights in the Democratic Party (today) that is largely absent in the Republican Party’s platform, and has been for some time. I hope that this Convention will challenge this notion. It is easy to oppose a party you are regularly separated from, but I am hoping to engage in conversation with fellow Wake the Voters, or attendees to understand more about the Party’s platform, and why they support it. Moving past financial reasons, I am looking forward to engaging with more of the social stances of the platform and taken by the Party.
The most important goal of this Convention is to stay safe. There’s a lot of turmoil in this country right now, and a fair amount of it has to do with guns, surprise surprise. Since Second Amendment rights are important to the Party, I am hoping they safely abide by this right. Really, this is a major concern, please don’t bring guns to the Convention y’all. Instead, I would be interested in hearing about if the Party thinks it is time for our constitutionalism to evolve with our country, and to re-evaluate the Second Amendment. If not, how can we respond as a country to the recent violence against Black bodies and law enforcement? I understand the desire to interpret the Constitution as an originalist, but some of its allowances are leading more to bloodshed rather than allowing private citizens to protect themselves. I am hoping to hear about this in-depth at the Convention, and to challenge my understanding of the Republican Party as much as possible.